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An Overview of Language Teaching at Kaunas University of Technology

Author(s): Regina Petrylaite
Institution/Organisation: Kaunas University of Technology, Lithuania (LT)

5. LESSONS TO BE LEARNED

5.1 Lessons to be learned at institutional level

Language policy development at the institutional level is initiated and carried out exclusively by senior university management. Language learning could be more effective if the University authorities took into account the following factors:

  • More academic hours should be devoted to language teaching.  The results of the diagnostic test according to which students are grouped into homogeneous groups reveal that many students’ L2 competence is not adequate for university studies (for studying L2 for specific purposes).
  • Computer labs equipped with the latest tools and material contribute to making classes more interesting and up-to-date.  However, due to the large student population of KTU computer labs are shared by 5-9 teachers (depending on the faculty), thus the same student group can have access only once every other week, i.e. 8 times per semester. It would be ideal if the same teacher and his/her group could have access to the computer lab every week. Language learners should be given easy access to learning materials on the Internet.
  • Close cooperation between technological experts/content teachers from client faculties and language teachers should be ensured.
  • Not enough is done in promoting and providing suitable facilities for developing learner autonomy.
  • more international events for students should be organized at KTU (conferences, seminars in order to attract more incoming students and to create intercultural academic language environment).

 

5.2 Broader implications

Educational system should be adapted beyond learning languages towards educational competence building across a range of skills. These include situational adaptability (social skills), problem-solving skills and those related to life and work in diverse intercultural contexts. Students should be motivated by the educational environment not just by the idea/willingness to learn a language, e.g. for the purpose of later applying it in one’s job – you may never know what language skills the job might require. In this view, students’ participation in intercultural projects should particularly be promoted – students should get in direct contact with the target language and people rather than just acquire academic information.

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